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The Farsider

July 17, 2014

 

Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>

 

The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.


 

NOTE 

There was no Farsider last Thursday, nor the Thursday before that.
Some of the items in this issue will be slightly out of date, and we
hope to be caught up by next Thursday. Sorry for any inconvenience.


 

CONDOLENCES

Sympathies are extended to Randy Spitze and his family over the loss of Patricia Jean Spitze.

The July 11th Insider reports that she succumbed to cancer on July 3rd following a 4-year battle. A celebration of her life was held this past weekend in Fair Oaks. We don't have a home address for Randy, but we can provide his email address upon request for those of you who would like to send him your condolences.


 

PENSION NEWS

This article on pension reform dates back to July 2nd, a few days after our last Farsider...

San Jose Ballot Initiative Would Water Down Measure B — Is It Enough?

By Mike Rosenberg
<mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — July 2, 2014

SAN JOSE -- Hoping to soothe a bitter labor war with their unions, San Jose leaders on Tuesday announced they would seek a ballot measure to scale back part of the city's landmark pension reform act -- but it does not appear to be the game-changer either side is looking for.

If placed on the November ballot and approved by voters, the new measure would tweak only two parts of the Measure B pension initiative that city voters overwhelmingly approved in 2012. It would allow ex-city employees who quit their jobs to come back under their old benefit plan, and possibly make it easier for police officers and firefighters to get a disability retirement.

"These measures would not change the savings from Measure B, but they would possibly help with retention and recruitment," of cops and other city workers, Mayor Chuck Reed said.

But it would not alter the ongoing court battle between the unions and the city, which is headed to appeals court. And unions immediately dismissed the plan as being too weak, saying it didn't address their broader concerns over the pension reform changes that cut into their paychecks.

"It's refreshing when any politician admits they made a mistake, but Mayor Reed and his City Council majority's fix to their mistake is akin to pouring gasoline on an already raging fire," said Joel Phelan, president of the firefighters union.

More than two years after its passage, Measure B -- a package of reforms that cut retirement benefits for the city's 5,500 employees -- remains a major bone of contention in City Hall. City leaders led by Reed and his City Council allies maintain the measure is crucial to save tens of millions of dollars per year, as retirement costs continue to eat up larger portions of the city budget that pays for basic services. But city workers, especially police officers, have been leaving San Jose for better paying cities, leading to a shortage of cops and bitter tension between staff and city executives.

The proposed changes do not address many of the concerns the labor groups had over Measure B, such as the requirement for current workers to pay more toward their pensions.

"They want to look like they're doing something about the problem that they've created," said Ben Field, head of the South Bay Labor Council. But "it does not solve the public safety crisis -- it will not help the city recruit and maintain police officers."

The plan calls for lowering the bar for cops and firefighters to get a disability retirement so that all public safety workers who are hurt for more than a year would qualify. Previously, Measure B called for those injured workers to also prove they couldn't do a desk job such as dispatcher.

Also under the plan, employees who left the city will have until the end of 2016 to return under their old "tier 1" retirement benefits instead of being hired back under the less generous benefit plan offered to new hires under Measure B. Reed says seven cops have returned to the city recently, but the council and the police union disagree strongly over how many officers would take advantage of the deal.

The labor groups remain focused on electing more favorable candidates they support in the November election, led by mayoral hopeful and county Supervisor Dave Cortese. Labor candidates are also vying for three other City Council seats in November.

The council is on its summer break but held a special closed-session meeting late Friday in which they hammered out the ballot initiative plan, which wasn't disclosed until late Tuesday. Unless the votes on the council change, there is enough support for council members at their Aug. 5 meeting to place the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

 

POA UPDATES



July 2nd

Don't Be Fooled

City Manager Ed Shikada sent out an email today announcing that the City Council had authorized him "to initiate negotiations with San José bargaining units regarding two possible adjustments to the Measure B pension modifications." What he didn't write was that the City Council had authorized him to "initiate good faith negotiations" because with a little over 4 weeks before the August deadline to place another pension measure on the ballot, the City will be unable to meet and negotiate in good faith to fulfill their legal obligations. Sound familiar?

Mr. Shikada goes on to say, "The first proposed change would allow employees who have left City employment to return to work for San José with the same retirement benefit they had when they left." Well, not exactly, these officers would not have the same disability protections they had when they left. Mr. Shikada seems to miss the point we keep explaining: until the underlying reasons that drove over 400 police officers away are fixed, they won't come back and recruits will continue to leave. As of today, out of the 50 recruits hired for the September 2013 class only 13 remain. Is there anyone on the 18th floor at City Hall paying attention?

You might remember that we polled the officers who resigned. Less than 2% of them said they would return until things were fixed. The best analogy we have to the Council's idea is if you can imagine the Captain of the Titanic trying to convince the survivors to abandon their lifeboats and come back on board the sinking ship. Those passengers wouldn't do it; nor will our former officers.

The second component of the City's unilateral ballot measure, according to Mr. Shikada, "would make clear that if a police officer or fire fighter is seriously injured and could not work for a year, they would qualify for a disability retirement. This would be in addition to recent changes adopted by the City Council that guaranteed jobs for injured workers who could still work for the City in another capacity."

Mr. Shikada got a little fast and loose with his characterization of the City's proposal. Here is the ACTUAL ballot language: "An employee is considered "disabled" for purposes of qualifying for a disability retirement, if ... An employee in the Police and Fire Department Retirement Plan has suffered a serious bodily injury from a single event...." Conspicuously, the City fails to define the terms "serious bodily injury" and "single event." And it seems clear that those of us whose cumulative injuries prevent us from being a cop will still be denied disability pensions.

This latest half-baked approach also leaves untouched the ridiculous idea that once a member is service eligible he/she can no longer be eligible for a disability pension. Remember: if you have 25 years of service and are 50 years old, you cannot get a disability pension. If you are paralyzed in an on-duty accident on the day after your 50th birthday, you will not be eligible for a disability pension.

The City Manager, Fire and the POA worked for months to produce a proposal that would ensure long-term savings, provide for a competitive 2nd Tier pension plan and actually fix disability benefits and restore the safety net eviscerated by Measure B. The Council vetoed this plan. Now it is highjacking the process for their own political gain.

There is no fix to what ails us in this latest Council sham. Do not be fooled by this political stunt. This Council has no intention of truly fixing what they broke.

Jim Unland
<president@sjpoa.com>
John Robb
<vicepresident@sjpoa.com>

 

July 3rd

An Update on Jim Lisius from Wendell Martin

"Thank You All. You Did It!

 

I want to give everyone an update on the campaign to help the Lisius family purchase a used mobility van. As you all know by now, retired Officer Jim Lisius #3321, has ALS. Until recently, his family always had to borrow a van to take Jim to his doctor appointments and to special family outings. But now, thanks to over 100 caring and unselfish people, you raised over $18,000! The family was able to use those funds and purchased a van that meets all their special needs!

I wish I could personally thank each and every one of you. Your generosity was overwhelming and humbling. The fact that so many of you supported Jim and his family was amazing!

I want to personally thank Lt. Michael Dziuba #2838 and Officer James Cooper #3238 for all their help who, among other duties, solicited donations throughout the Department. I would like to give special thanks to SJPD Communications, Third Degree Communications, retirees Steve Papenfuhs, James McMahon, and Joe Reyes for their generous donations.

I also want to thank Cameron Goldfinger who organized a fundraiser at his Justice Studies fraternity at San Jose State. They raised $540 in cash for Jim. (Cameron is the son of Officer Dave Goldfinger #3198.)

I also want to thank Officer Andrew Watson #4099, Founder/CEO of HealthDonor, Inc., who allowed us to use his website, healthdonor.com, to create a fundraiser campaign.

I would love to list all of the people that donated, but since there were over 100 of you, that is not possible at this time. There are likely more people behind the scenes that helped make this all work. I am grateful to you as well!

Finally, on behalf of myself, Jim, and his family, please accept our humble and heartfelt thanks to all of you!

 

 

July 6th

Jim Unland interviewed by Pat Thurston on KGO Radio
(Click HERE)



 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY AND SJPD

The July 2nd POA Membership Alert above addresses the details outlined in this article of the same date. This item, however, is what the public sees...

Pension Reform Not Enough

—Possible changes to Measure B unlikely to please—

Mercury News — July 2, 2014
By Mike Rosenberg — <mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>

SAN JOSE — Hoping to soothe a bitter labor war with their unions, San Jose leaders on Tuesday announced they would seek a ballot measure to scale back part of the city’s landmark pension reform act — but it does not appear to be the game-changer either side is looking for. If placed on the November ballot and approved by voters, the new measure would tweak only two parts of the Measure B pension initiative that city voters overwhelmingly approved in 2012. It would allow ex-city employees who quit their jobs to come back under their old benefit plan, and possibly make it easier for police officers and firefighters to get a disability retirement. “These measures would not change the savings from Measure B, but they would possibly help with retention and recruitment,” of police officers and other city workers, Mayor Chuck Reed said. But it would not alter the ongoing court battle between the unions and the city, which is headed to appeals court. And unions immediately dismissed the plan as being too weak, saying it didn’t address their broader concerns over the pension reform changes that cut into their paychecks.

“It’s refreshing when any politician admits they made a mistake, but Mayor Reed and his City Council majority’s fix to their mistake is akin to pouring gasoline on an already raging fire,” said Joel Phelan, president of the firefighters union.

More than two years after its passage, Measure B — a package of reforms that cut retirement benefits for the city’s 5,500 employees — remains a major bone of contention in City Hall.

City leaders led by Reed and his City Council allies maintain the measure is crucial to save tens of millions of dollars per year, as retirement costs continue to eat up larger portions of the city budget that pays for basic services.

But city workers, especially police officers, have been leaving San Jose for better paying cities, leading to a shortage of police officers and bitter tension between staff and city executives.

The proposed changes do not address many of the concerns the labor groups had over Measure B, such as the requirement for current workers to pay more toward their pensions.

“They want to look like they’re doing something about the problem that they’ve created,” said Ben Field, head of the South Bay Labor Council. But “it does not solve the public safety crisis — it will not help the city recruit and maintain police officers.”

The plan calls for lowering the bar for police officers and firefighters to get a disability retirement so that all public safety workers who are hurt for more than a year would qualify.

Under the plan, employees who left the city will have until the end of 2016 to return under their old “tier 1” retirement benefits instead of being hired back under the less generous benefit plan offered to new hires under Measure B.

Reed says seven police officers have returned to the city recently, but the council and the police union disagree strongly over how many officers would take advantage of the deal.


 

MAIL CALL

July 5th

Bill,

Please let our fellow retirees know that we, the Nevada County Sportsmen’s Club (NCSC), just outside of Nevada City, CA offer an alternative to driving to San Jose to complete the required annual pistol qualification for the CCW ID card renewal.

We can shoot Wed, Sat and Sun at our outdoor Pistol Range.  We do not charge for this service, but ask for a minimum $10.00 contribution (tax deductible) to our 4-H Youth Shooting Sports Program (archery, rifle and pistol and trap).

We provide a qualification form (for one or more pistols), which the retiree submits to the Department along with a Personnel update form and their current ID card.  The Permits Unit will prepare a new ID card and mail it back to the retiree.

The retirees should come to the range with the pistol(s) they want listed on the Department’s Blue Card, ammo and ear and eye protection.  We will supply the targets.

We also provide this same service for other local, state and federal retired law enforcement officers.

Retirees should contact Dan Bullock at 530-274-3430 or
dnabullock@sbcglobal.net to arrange for a qualification date and more information.

I encourage all SJPD retirees to maintain their CCW qualification and I will be happy to work with you to make this happen.

Dan Bullock #1311

 

JULY EDITION OF THE BILLY & SPANNER AVAILABLE ON-LINE

To view it, first click HERE, then on the red download link on the right side of the page.


 

 

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
     
June 25th through July 15th

The World Cup has an official song. The official anthem is "We Will Find a Way." It narrowly beat out the other contender, "I Feel Someone's Teeth in My Shoulder."

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan player who bit an opponent, may get banned for two years. On the plus side, he has just signed a million-dollar endorsement deal to promote rabies.

Both the U.S. and German teams have very good goalies, so many are predicting a very low-scoring game tomorrow. So don't expect to see another one of those 1-0 blowouts.

England was knocked out of the World Cup. It's the most English people wiped out at one time since the last episode of "Game of Thrones."

The U.S. lost to Germany today, but because FIFA rules dictate that teams get one point for a tie, three points for a win, and zero points for a loss, and both the U.S. and Portugal had a score of four, and because the U.S. had a higher goal differential, the U.S. still advances. That's the rules — and that in a nutshell is why Americans don't follow soccer.

FIFA has announced that Luis Suarez, the player who bit an opponent, will be banned for nine games, or as Suarez put it, "nine meals."

A man walked into McDonald's with a knife in his back. Yeah, with a knife in his back. His heart wasn't in danger until he ordered the food, said doctors.

Lindsay Lohan is going to be making her stage debut in London. Lohan is looking forward to England because she already drives on the wrong side of the road.

Did you all watch soccer yesterday? Guess what? I'm not going to get to ask you that for another four years.

I'm going to miss watching a sport I don't understand.

Germany won the World Cup. That was the big news. Some of the Germans actually smiled when they watched.

Germany won, but they're still mad at us for spying on them. So they're considering going back to using typewriters to avoid being spied on. It's never good news when Germany says they're going to go back to their old ways.

To avoid being spied on by the NSA, Germany is considering using typewriters now to communicate so we can't spy on them. Germany says they may even go further back and start using AOL accounts.

Authorities at the airport in Los Angeles intercepted an illegal shipment of 67 live giant African snails. It's being called the world's slowest perp walk.

According to a dating app, Amazon employees are more desirable than employees at other tech companies. Plus, if you sleep with one, they will recommend someone else you might also like.

Kim Kardashian has a new iPhone app that experts say could make her $200 million this year. But keep in mind she has to give 10 percent to her manager, 10 percent to her agent, and 10 percent to Satan.

During the World Cup, Uruguay is playing Italy and one of their players bites an Italian player. How many of you folks have ever been bitten by a Uruguayan?

FIFA, the world soccer governing body, says the guy who did the biting has to wear one of those dog cones for the rest of the tournament.

A guy outside of a McDonald's tried to break up a fight and he got stabbed in the back. He then took out his cellphone and called a buddy. This gives you an idea how bad crime is in New York City. People don't even notice now when they've been stabbed.

The guy goes back into the McDonald's with the knife sticking out of his back and he says, "Is there a McDoctor in the house?"

NBC is making a movie about the Beatles. However, they will not be allowed to use the Beatles music and they will not be allowed to use the Beatles likenesses. Other than that it's a green light all the way.

Earlier tonight was the NBA draft. That means at least a few college kids will have jobs.

Even if you are not a basketball fan, tune into the NBA draft if you can because it's a great opportunity to see Kardashian's future ex-husbands.

The Washington Redskins are being pressured to change their name. Well, they haven't had much luck in the last four or five seasons. They're kind of stumbling. They can't get out of their own way. How about the "Washington Congress"?

At Coney Island they had the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest and that guy who wins every year won again. I thought maybe the Kenyan would win this year, but he didn't.

Here's something to think about when you're a little low, concerned about world events. This guy Joey Chestnut ate 61 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Ladies and gentlemen, America is still getting it done!

That's 61 hot dogs in 12 minutes, or as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie calls it — a snack.

The U.S. soccer team was eliminated from the World Cup competition, but they gave it a pretty good run. But the problem now is we have to find something else to pretend to care about.

It's summer in New York City. It's 91 and steamy — like Joan Rivers!

The oldest living person in the United States is 116 years old. People always pester the old people. They asked her, "How did you get so old? What's your secret?" And the woman said, "Well, I was born a really long time ago."

She is 116 years old. She's so old her first pet is extinct.

They asked the 116-year-old woman, "Do you have any regrets?" And she said, "Yeah, I wish I hadn't left 'The View.'"

At the World Cup, Germany defeated Brazil 7-1. Germany really mauled Brazil. In fact, Angela Merkel scored two goals.

Germany took care of Brazil. Now it's on to Poland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.

Happy birthday to Ed Lowe, the man who invented Kitty Litter. Here's what I admire about Ed Lowe. Here was a guy who was thinking inside the box.

Happy birthday also to O.J. Simpson. Of course you remember O.J. He was charged with double homicide and forced to sell his NBA team. O.J. cut the birthday cake and then hid the knife.

I just got a call backstage from people at the NBA. It looks like LeBron James is going back to Cleveland. Yup, and I'm going back to NBC.

The Republican National Convention is going to be held in 2016 in Cleveland. They outbid New York City. Cleveland beat New York City. And I'm thinking to myself: Wait a minute, this is not right. Hookers and bribes don't work anymore? What is the problem?

According to a new study, the largest producer of oil is now the United States. So you know what that means — any day now we'll be invading ourselves.

On this date in 1804, Aaron Burr had a duel with Vice President Alexander Hamilton. Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton and got off scot-free. Later he was convicted for stealing sports memorabilia.

Germany is your World Cup champions, ladies and gentlemen. The winning German soccer team received a congratulatory phone call from Angela Merkel. Of course we know this because we're still bugging her phone.

People are going to see the new "Planet of the Apes" movie. It's in 3-D, and it is so realistic you can barely see the zippers on the backs of the monkey suits.

The new "Planet of the Apes" movie is more fun than a barrel full of people.

LeBron James is going back to Cleveland. In return Cleveland released five Taliban prisoners.

Pope Francis is considering repealing celibacy for priests. Priests will no longer have to take a vow of celibacy. See what you can accomplish when you don't have Congress standing in your way?

They're still talking about the World Cup. I think it would have broader appeal here in the United States if you could use your hands AND your feet.

So the old Pope from Germany and the present Pope from Argentina got together at the Vatican and watched the World Cup together. We even have the footage — they're praying over a pizza.

Congratulations to Germany! They have now won four World Cup soccer championships. But — they are still O for 2 in world wars.

In England a major highway had to be closed yesterday because a truck overturned. And the truck was filled with instant mashed potatoes. I was thinking that there must be a joke in this, but I couldn't think of one.

A truck overturned full of mashed potatoes — thank God this didn't happen in Los Angeles. They'd be saying, "Oh no, carbs. Carbs are falling! Quick, someone overturn a truck full of kale. No, don't waste the kale."

The American men's soccer team advanced to the knockout round in the World Cup after a victorious defeat by Germany.

People in L.A. can't stop pretending to be soccer fans just yet.

It was so wet during the World Cup game that dolphins were getting stuck in the net. It was so wet that I saw Russell Crowe float by in an ark. It was so wet the new U.S. goalie is Aquaman. So wet the winners received a ShamWow!

The next opponent for the U.S. will be Belgium. The Belgians are favored over the U.S. But so far, the Belgians have been cagey about saying if they think they'll win. That's right, the Belgians are waffling.

A big movie opened. "Transformers: Age of Extinction." You know, the Transformers — they transform. They are robots in disguise. I don't know if it will do well. After all these World Cup games, Americans can't handle any more excitement.

A new show premieres Saturday night on the Learning Channel. If you know anything about me, you know I'm always watching the Learning Channel. I want to learn something!

The Learning Channel's new show is called "Buying Naked." It's a reality show about nudists buying houses. You know the thing about nakedness: People say I want to see you naked and then you see somebody naked and you think, Oh, I spoke too soon. It is better in the concept form.

It's a great day to be in Spain because today's the annual festival of cruelty to animals — the Running of the Bulls.

It's a terrifying feeling to be rushed by that giant herd of creatures. It's like being the last candy bar at Honey Boo Boo's house.

Earnest Hemingway wrote about the Running of the Bulls in "The Sun Also Rises." Thank God someone like Hemingway wrote about it instead of some dude on Twitter.

The Running of the Bulls tradition started in the 1500s. Instead of saying it is too dangerous, they'd say "You know, if we got drunk enough we could turn this into a festival."

On this day in 1776 in Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell rang to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia's called the City of Brotherly Love. The name comes from the Greek word "filla," meaning brother, and "delphia," meaning cheesesteak.

Cheesesteak is the dish Philadelphia is known for. I don't know what dish we're known for here in L.A. It may be kale salad that you can eat and then throw up later because you have an audition.

A Philly cheesesteak is made of steak, bread, cheese, onions, and a complete disregard for your health.

The baseball team in Philadelphia is the Phillies. I always thought that was kind of a lazy name. It's like calling a team the New York Yorkies or the Atlanta Ta-Ta's.

Today is National Sugar Cookie Day. The entire month of July is National Cream Month. You're welcome, diabetes.

There was a big TV show tonight that premiered on CBS — "Extant." It stars Halle Berry and was produced by Steven Spielberg so you know CBS spent money on it, just like they did this show.

In "Extant" Halle Berry plays an astronaut who mysteriously winds up pregnant after a space mission. The series will answer the question: How did Arnold Schwarzenegger get onto that ship?

Wyoming became a state on this day in 1918. Everybody celebrated from Cheyenne to another city in Wyoming.

Wyoming is one of the few states that doesn't have a pro sports team. So happy birthday. You can have the Lakers.

It's a full moon this weekend. So if you see someone with long fingernails and howling at the moon it's probably just a werewolf or Gary Busey.

Gary Busey doesn't really exist. That's just a story to frighten children, isn't it?

Tiger Woods is not playing in The Masters this year. Apparently he injured his back "swinging."

North Korea is negotiating to broadcast the Teletubbies. They have to make changes for North Korean TV. For starters, every episode will end with one of the Teletubbies being executed.

And, of course, every Teletubby will have Kim Jong Un's haircut.

Piers Morgan is being replaced on CNN by Anthony Bourdain. I hope I'm not punished with a job on CNN.

The new "Planet of the Apes" movie made a ton of money over the weekend. It's about a world dominated by aggressive hairy beasts. Don't we already have that?

Congratulations, my German friends. They are World Cup champions. People in Germany were going nuts, firing guns into the air, marching up and down the streets. Then they heard about the World Cup win.

Germans haven't been this excited since the release of the last David Hasselhoff album. They haven't been this excited since Oktoberfest included an all-you-can-eat wiener buffet.

People in Germany went bonkers. Rumor has it that up to half a dozen Germans actually cracked a smile.

The big story at the World Cup is a player from Uruguay who appeared to bite a player from Italy on the shoulder. Either that or he's a very bad kisser.

The player from Uruguay was suspended for biting twice before. FIFA, the governing body for soccer, is determining whether they'll suspend him again. That to me is ridiculous. If he did it a third time, just pull his teeth.

A piece of rock 'n' roll history was sold yesterday. Some of Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics from 1965 went up for auction and got $2 million. Paying $2 million for Bob Dylan lyrics is a good way to know that Bob Dylan would have hated you in 1965.

The reason the Dylan lyrics are so valuable is because if you buy them, you'll be the only one in the world who knows what Dylan is singing.

The U.S. team was back in the World Cup today and played Germany. It was a highly anticipated match. The last time they squared off, Tom Hanks died so Matt Damon could go home.

Germany beat the U.S. 1-0. But the good news is, no one was bitten in this game. Even though the U.S. lost, they still advance to the next round because in soccer, nothing makes sense at all. There's no rhyme or reason for it.

That player from Uruguay, Luis Suarez, who bit the Italian player, has been suspended for nine games and banned for all soccer-related events for four months. They're also putting him on soft food for a while.

Tonight is the NBA draft, also known as "Purchase a Giant Day." Cleveland had the No. 1 overall pick and took Andrew Wiggins from the University of Kansas, who has already announced plans to leave the team to play in Miami.

The U.S. team was back in the World Cup today and played Germany. It was a highly anticipated match. The last time they squared off, Tom Hanks died so Matt Damon could go home.

Tonight is the NBA draft, also known as "Purchase a Giant Day." Cleveland had the No. 1 overall pick and took Andrew Wiggins from the University of Kansas, who has already announced plans to leave the team to play in Miami.

Do you remember the smile on the little girl's face when Frosty the Snowman came back to life? Well, that's kind of how I felt today when the honorable Mayor Rob Ford returned to the city of Toronto.

It's always a great day for a city when their mayor comes back from rehab.

We're now down to the final 38 weeks of the World Cup.

This morning when France played Nigeria, it was the first time an American referee ever officiated a knockout round match. The French won it by a touchdown.

At the World Cup, the U.S. team defied all expectations. They were not expected to get out of the first round. They took the dreaded Belgium into overtime. They call it extra time, but I don't. It's overtime.

Unfortunately Belgium won it, which is ridiculous. I didn't know Belgium was a real country.

You know what they call Belgian waffles in Belgium? Waffles.

It's hard to lose to a nation of pacifist chocolatiers.

But all work stopped this afternoon when the game went into overtime. Productivity did suffer. I'm sure that happened in a lot of offices across the country. There are no sporting events that increase productivity. It's not like you hear, "Wow, this U.S. Open makes me want to crank out these expense reports."

 I'm trying to figure out what to make for the Fourth of July. Hamburgers and hot dogs get a lot of attention, but the Fourth is really the blueberry's day to shine. When you need a blue food to round out your red, white, and blue items, there's nowhere else to turn but the blueberry.

Every year, the blueberry has it right where it wants us. I say good for the blueberry. It deserves it.

In Iran there's a TV show, a sitcom — it's weird that they even have a sitcom. But it's a rip-off of "Modern Family." They use Iranian actors and make shot-for-shot re-creations with the same plots and jokes. But their "Modern Family" has no gay characters. The most modern family on Iranian TV up to this point is the Flintstones.

Seven Stones is a traditional game they play in the Middle East where teams compete to build and destroy a pile of rocks. "Seven Stones" is followed by "How I Met Your Mullah."

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July weekend. And if you don’t remember it, then trust me, you did.

Congrats to Joey Chestnut. On Friday he won the Fourth of July Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest by eating 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Another guy said, “But I ate a hundred!” Then the judges said, “You have to wait until we say ‘Go!', Governor Christie."

Joey Chestnut won his eighth consecutive Hot Dog Eating Contest. Unfortunately, the win was overshadowed when his rival, Johnny Hot Dog, won his ninth consecutive Chestnut Eating Contest.

House Speaker John Boehner is threatening to sue President Obama for using executive actions to create laws, instead of going through Congress first. Then Obama shrugged and made a new law that you can't sue the president.

Yesterday Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attended his first city council meeting since he got back from rehab. He said, “It's great to be back, but man, these things are boring when you're sober.”

Rob Ford attended his first city council meeting. But it got weird when he said, "Hello, Toronto City Council!" And they said, "This is Buffalo, sir . . . And you have to put a shirt on."

Target Field in Minnesota will have self-serve beer machines at the All-Star Game next week. Big deal. My dad had a self-serving beer machine 30 years ago. It was called "Jimmy."

This year’s box-office revenue is down 20 percent from last summer. I’m not sure why that is, but I'll bet you there’s a documentary on Netflix about it.

Welcome to the Tonight Show. I’m Jimmy Fallon — and in the time it took me to say that, Germany scored five more goals against Brazil.

There was a huge blowout at the World Cup yesterday when Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals. It got so bad that the refs told Brazil, “You know what? Go ahead and use your hands.”

Germany was really excited about the World Cup win. When asked what they're going to do next, Germany said, "We're going to invade Disney World!"

Congrats to LeBron James who just announced that he and his wife are expecting their third child. When asked if he wants a boy or a girl, LeBron said he was currently reviewing his options and would let the media know when he made a decision.

Today, our show got nominated for six Emmy Awards! And if we win for best show, I promised to give the Emmy to my parents. And if we win for best writing, I promised to give the Emmy to Rob Ford. He wrote half our monologues.

Two teams are left in the World Cup. Yesterday Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalty kicks after both teams went scoreless. That’s right, the game was decided by penalty kicks. People hadn't seen that many kicks since Beyoncé's sister got into an elevator with Jay-Z.

People who wanted to go on the new Harry Potter ride at Universal had to wait in line for more than seven hours this week. That's right, seven hours of waiting just for a couple minutes of action. Or as that's also called, “watching soccer.”

Justin Bieber will be charged with one count of misdemeanor vandalism for throwing eggs at his neighbor's home in January. Or as he calls that, “street cred.”

LeBron James announced that he will be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers four years after he left the team. That’s right, he's coming home. LeBron is going back to Cleveland. Or as Cleveland fans put it, "Is there a way to unburn jerseys?”

The Miami Heat’s owner Micky Arison, who also owns Carnival Cruises, said today he’s shocked and disappointed by LeBron’s decision. But I think he'll be OK. I mean, if there's anyone who's used to dealing with a sinking ship . . .

Yesterday Rick Perry told President Obama to go to the U.S.-Mexico border and see the immigration crisis firsthand because Americans expect to see their president when there is a disaster. Which is why today Obama showed up in Miami.

A company in the U.K. is making news for developing a new vegetable called Brussel-Kale, which is a hybrid of Brussels sprouts and kale. They said, “We got the idea from a child's nightmare.”

Yesterday was the big World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. And if you caught only the last couple of minutes of the game, don't worry — you saw the whole thing.

The World Cup is finally over. In other words, bars are about to start showing sports that make sense again.

During yesterday’s World Cup final, a guy ran onto the field with the phrase “natural born prankster” written on his chest — because nothing says good clean fun like spending the night in a Brazilian prison.

While he was in Cuba this weekend, Vladimir Putin met with Fidel Castro and promised to revive Cuba's oil industry. Not to be confused with the other thing Cuba's always having to revive: Fidel Castro.

This crazy weather we've been having all over the country — it’s because the polar vortex is back. The polar vortex is causing the Midwest to experience fall-like temperatures. I can't tell if climate change is still a problem or if God just put the Earth on "Shuffle."

And maybe that's why the FCC just announced that it wants to overhaul the Emergency Alert System so President Obama would be able to interrupt any TV broadcast and address the country instantly. Which of course raises the question: He can't do that ALREADY?

They want to make it so the president can instantly interrupt TV broadcasts whenever there's breaking news. Then Obama said, "And I mean REAL breaking news, not that CNN stuff."

The number of pot delivery services has tripled in the last three years because more states are easing their marijuana laws. And the first person who figures out how to combine that with a pizza delivery service will be our country's first trillionaire.

Last week the U.S. was eliminated by Belgium at the World Cup. And next week Belgium will be eliminated by drones.

Today was the annual Running of the Bulls in Spain. So if you’re sick of all the fake injuries at the World Cup, get ready for some real ones.

An 81-year-old woman in the U.K. went sky diving to help raise money for a local hospital. They didn’t raise a lot of money, but they did get a new patient.

A new rumor has surfaced that the next iPhone will feature an all-glass exterior. Because why should just the front be cracked?

According to a new report, millennials view smartphones as more important than deodorant. That makes sense. Nobody ever totals their car because they were staring at their deodorant.

This summer New Yorkers will be able to order delivery food to sunbathing spots in Central Park. Although if you have to order delivery to the place where you’re sunbathing, you probably shouldn’t be sunbathing.

A Ugandan police officer claims he was forced to shoot an aggressive tortoise that attacked him while he was drinking tea at home. In his defense, he had to act quickly, or move over a few feet and weigh his options for another hour.

Yesterday, Brazil lost to Germany in the World Cup semifinals by a score of 7 to 1. People in Brazil were so upset that they partied only until 3 in the morning.

A British man is being fined 150 pounds for stealing a box of diapers. The man was able to steal the diapers because they were being guarded by a Brazilian goalie.

According to a new report from BP, the earth will run out of oil in 53 years. Luckily, thanks to BP, the ocean will still have plenty.

In an upcoming article for The Wall Street Journal, Tyra Banks predicts that everyone will have a robot in the future. The article raised a lot of good questions, like: Why is The Wall Street Journal interviewing Tyra Banks?

The 2014 Emmy Award nominations came out this morning and "Game of Thrones" leads all shows with 19 nominations. It was nominated for best drama, best costumes, and worst job security.

This week Donald Sterling told a Los Angeles judge that to keep control of the Clippers, he will sue the NBA until the day he dies. And by the looks of him, that day was four years ago.

Argentina beat Holland in the World Cup semifinals yesterday and now Argentina will face Germany in the World Cup Finals. Argentina versus Germany. And if you don’t know who to root for, imagine how elderly Nazis feel.

According to a new report, there is a shrine in Japan solely dedicated to hemorrhoids. Seating is limited, but usually available.

Well, it was an amazing weekend in sports. LeBron went back to being a Cavalier, Carmelo went back to being a Knick, and soccer went back to being a thing you drive your kids to.

Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup. German fans went absolutely crazy from 9:00 until 9:15.

Brazil's coach resigned following the country's historic 7-1 loss in the World Cup last week. He says he wants to spend more time focusing on not being murdered.

The Orange County Fair in California has started selling bacon-wrapped churros, fried in bacon fat and filled with a half shot of Jack Daniels. I hear they are simply to die of.

According to a new study, one in four Americans admits to not exercising at all. As a result, one in four Americans is actually TWO in four Americans.

The border crisis continues. And a new poll shows the majority of Americans disapprove of how President Obama is dealing with immigration. Of course, those numbers could change if he lets more people into America.

Over the weekend, firefighters in Minnesota rescued a woman who had been stuck in quicksand for over 14 hours. So, not the quickest sand.

Today, Archie Comics publishers revealed that in Wednesday's issue, comic book icon Archie will die trying to stop an assassination attempt on his gay friend. Not to be outdone, Snoopy will die by taking a shiv in the ribs for Peppermint Patty.

 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF JUNE 28, 2014

The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox

New Articles

• A gas-siphoning thief gets a mouthful he'll never forget when he tries to drain the wrong tank on an RV.

• Man against machine in a battle over a $0.00 charge that won't go away.

• Video clip purportedly shows the deleterious results of using Head & Shoulders shampoo.

• Did Oprah Winfrey post $900,000 bail for so-called "sexy felon" Jeremy Meeks?

• A man locked in an unplugged freezer imagined himself freezing to death and died as a result.

• Screen shot from a World Cup match shows team country codes spelling out a racial pejorative.

• Warning about scammers placing phone calls to hotel rooms to dupe guests into giving up their credit card info.

• Was a 3-year-old girl ordered to leave a KFC outlet because her facial injuries were disturbing to customers?

• Law professor's analysis demonstrates that the results of the last presidential election correspond to a prediction about the downfall of democracy.

• Was a death row inmate released from prison after two execution attempts failed?

• How a soccer team once advanced in a cup match by deliberately scoring a goal against their own side.

• Doctors discovered that a pregnant woman's unborn daughter was also pregnant.

• Have Hyland's Teething Tablets been recalled for causing seizures in children?

• Can a chemical be added to swimming pools that will reveal the presence of urine and catch those who pee in the water?

• 19th century legend holds that a woman became pregnant from being struck by a bullet that had passed through the scrotum of a Civil War soldier.

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!


Worth a Second Look

• Did a lucky bargain hunter become a millionaire after finding an original print of the Declaration of Independence in the frame of an old painting?


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.

 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS



Large or Full Screen preferred for YouTube videos


You gearheads should appreciate THIS contribution from Les Nunes. It's the story of an attempt earlier this month at the longest jump in the world with a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, it didn't go as planned as you can see from numerous angles as the mishap was captured by several GoPro video cameras. (12 Mins.)



 

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I think I speak for almost everyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle when I ask: "WHERE can I buy one of these little puppies." (3 Mins.)

 

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Then again, after watching THIS clip titled the "20 Craziest Motorcycle Crashes of 2013," perhaps the wise thing to do would be to keep my easily bruised and aging body inside a cage with 4 wheels. (5 Mins.)

 

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Bob Tenbrink was the source of this clip about a one-of-a-kind '53 Cadillac Eldorado that was the only one supercharged by the General (General Motors). Seems rather strange that it isn't sitting in Jay Leno's garage, but apparently it isn't. At least not yet. (2 Mins.)

 

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This Bubble Show performance received from Alice Murphy should definitely be worth 3 minutes of your time because it is highly unlikely you have ever seen anything like it. Have a look. (3 Mins.)

 

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Story with a  Moral

 


The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it.

The next day the kids came back and, one by one, they began to tell their stories.

There were all the regular types of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved. They were almost done when the teacher realized she had missed Janie.

"Janie, do you have a story to share?"

''Yes ma'am. My daddy told me a story about my Mommy. She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a flask of whiskey, a pistol and a survival knife. She drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and then her parachute landed her right in the middle of 20 Iraqi troops. She shot 15 of them with the pistol until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife until the blade broke, and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands.

''Good Heavens," said the horrified teacher. "What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this horrible story?"

Janie replied, "Stay away from Mommy when she's been drinking."

 

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Some of you will recognize Brigitte Gabriel who is part of this Heritage Foundation panel on Benghazi as she frequently appears on various Fox News shows. In this clip she gives an effective answer to a question posed by a Muslim lady in the audience. The applause she received should not be a surprise as the Heritage Foundation is a right-leaning organization. The video was received from a half-dozen readers. (5 Mins.)

 

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When the Airbus A380 first entered service in 2007, some wondered what the reaction would be if the largest passenger jet in the world that could carry as many as 525 passengers was to suffer a catastrophic crash. In Nov. of 2010, one almost did. Shortly after taking off from Singapore enroute to Australia with 440 passengers plus crew aboard, the No. 2 engine on Quantas Flight 32 blew up and caught fire. This National Geographic "Air Crash Investigation" video received from Dirk Parsons is a detailed reenactment of the event. If this sort of program piques your interest, sit back, make sure your monitor is set to Large or Full screen, and WATCH this commercial-free presentation. (45 Mins.)



A SouthWest 737 is dwarfed by a Quantas A380


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Have you ever wondered how bananas are harvested and brought to market? Sure you have, and this video received from Alice Murphy will show you. (Trust us, it really is interesting.) (5 Mins.)

 

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The title of this short 27 second video clip says it all. "Wait for it…"

 

 

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Interesting gun control ad. Let's leave it at that. (30 Secs.)

 

 

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As humorous dance videos go, this is one of out favorites, which may explain why this is the third time it has been in the Farsider over the past seven years. It rose to the top of the charts when it was created and performed by the Village People in the 1970s and, in this version, parodied by the Amazing Christopher and his Village People puppets. Get ready to tap your feet to "YMCA." (3 Mins.)

 

Click HERE if you want to learn what happened to the Village People

 

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You can talk about the Mona Lisa or any other piece of art worth millions all you want, but in my view, this cardboard box full of money puts them all to shame. Click HERE and you will understand what we mean.

 

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If you want to see how karma works, watch this short clip where a citizen uses his personal vehicle to stop a high-speed chase where children are present. (2 Mins.)

 

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This clip is wrong in so many ways. I can't count the times while growing up that my parents told me not to play with my food. (5 Mins.)

 

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Have an iPhone?



If you do, are you aware of
THESE 21 things it can do?

 

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There's a busy city where the residents stand still for a full minute to honor its heroes. Can you guess what city it is? Here's a clue: It isn't in the U.S. Click HERE. (90 Secs.)



 

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Sure, this may be an advertisement for Acuity Insurance and Mortenson Construction, but all patriots should take a couple of minutes and watch this creation of the tallest flagpole in the world designed to support a 4-story-tall American flag. (6 Mins.)

 

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C'ya

 

Pic of the Week


Rumor has it that while the country is focused on the mothers and children who are self-surrendering to Border Patrol agents, the cartels are making a fortune stealing '51 Chevies and smuggling them into Mexico...

 

   

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This is the message box, using the scroller component.
 

 

 

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